Guide to Patient and Visitor Services
“To improve the quality of life for all those we touch through excellence in patient care, education, research and community service.”
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To Our Patients:
Welcome to University Hospital. We realize that a stay in the hospital can be a stressful experience for you and your families and we pledge to do everything we can to make you as comfortable as possible. Our commitment to you includes keeping you fully informed about how things are done at University Hospital. This information was designed with your questions and concerns in mind.
As a major academic medical center, with the largest teaching program in the state and numerous centers of excellence not found in other facilities, University Hospital is uniquely qualified to provide you with the highest level of care. Here you’ll find the most complex technology and techniques combined with old-fashioned concern and compassion and an institution-wide respect for your right to actively participate in the decisions regarding your care.
If you have any questions or concerns about anything related to your stay at University Hospital, do not hesitate or to speak with any member of your care team. Our Patient Relations Department is also available to assist you and can be reached at (973) 972-6410. Your health and comfort is our very special responsibility.
One Goal. One Passion. Every Patient. Every Time. This is our hospital credo. It is our pleasure to help our patients through their health care experience at University Hospital. It is our privilege to assist them in their journey. That is our commitment to you.
When you arrive at the Admitting Office, located just off the main lobby, you will meet a Patient Access Representative who will talk with you, answer your non-clinical questions and verify certain information. This information is kept confidential.
The Patient Access Representative will also ask you to sign a consent form, which is an agreement to allow our staff to treat you. A parent or guardian must sign for a minor. Additional forms may be required for special procedures during your stay. Your physician will discuss these with you.
Notice of Privacy
When you are admitted to the hospital, you will be given a copy of the hospital's Notice of Privacy Practices, which identifies your rights to privacy and the ways in which the hospital works to protect your privacy. If you object to having your name in the hospital's patient directory, or if you would like to limit or restrict communications with persons involved in your care or payment of services, it is your responsibility to inform hospital personnel of that decision. You may make or rescind this decision at any point in your hospital stay.
Click here to read the full Notice of Privacy Practices (PDF:674KB)
Federal and State laws require all hospitals to ask patients upon admission if they have developed an advance directive or health care proxy and if they have not, to offer assistance in the drafting of such a document. An advance directive, sometimes referred to as a living will, clearly states the types of health care measures the patient would and would not want to have applied if the patient was unable to speak for him/herself. If you are interested in developing an Advance Directive or Health Care Proxy, please contact the Social Work Services Department at (973) 972-5842 for assistance.
Click here to download an Advance Directive forms
The Patient Access Representative will verify and pre-certify your insurance coverage. A Financial Counselor will determine the extent of benefits available on your policy regarding your hospital stay. This is not a guarantee that your insurance carrier will actually pay the bill. Your insurance carrier will make the final decision once they receive the hospital bill. However, the Financial Counselor will assist you in every aspect of securing payment for the hospital bill, including requesting claim forms, medical information and signatures.
If you are not insured or your policy does not provide 100% coverage, a Financial Counselor will interview you about your family size, income, and other related financial matters to evaluate your eligibility for Federal, State, County, and/or Municipal programs that pay for hospital services. Our patients are also counseled on and assisted with eligibility requirements for the New Jersey Hospital Care Assistance Program (also known as Charity Care).
Hospital Financial Counselors will assist you in making arrangements for the hospital bill. All arrangements for physician bills are between you and your doctor, although we do make your insurance information available to staff physicians for billing purposes.
Click here for more information on financial counseling
The physicians and staff of University Hospital are trained to respect each patient’s right to receive considerate care that safeguards personal dignity and is respectful of the patient’s cultural, psychological and spiritual values. A copy of the Patient Bill of Rights will be provided to you and it is also posted in most public areas and in patient rooms.
University Hospital also respects and safeguards the confidentiality of each patient’s health information. For a complete description of the hospital's responsibilities and practices in using and disclosing your health information, see the Notice of Privacy Practices, which is posted in most public areas of the hospital and was provided to you upon admission. If you would like another copy, please contact the Admitting Department at (973) 972-4044 or (973) 972-4045.
If you have questions about your rights or disagree with your treatment or other ethical issues, you should first discuss the issue with your attending physician or with your nurse. If additional assistance is needed, University Hospital offers a Bioethics Consultation Service to clarify a treatment issue or resolve a dispute regarding the withholding and/or withdrawing of life sustaining treatment. To convene a formal consultation, the Bioethics Consultation Service may be contacted through your nurse or you may call (973) 972-7251.
Should you have any questions or concerns during your stay in the hospital, please contact the Patient Relations Department at (973) 972-6410. The Patient Relations Department is located in the hospital’s Main Lobby in suite C-242. Our patient representatives give you and your family the security of knowing someone is available to focus on your individual concerns. Your patient representative works closely with all hospital departments on your behalf to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
Your Role in Healthcare
We encourage patients and their families to take an active role in their health care decisions. Speak up if you have questions or concerns about your diagnosis and treatment. It’s a good idea to have a relative or friend with you who can help you ask questions and to understand the answers.
Make sure you understand what will happen if you need surgery. Ask your doctor about what to expect before, during and after the surgery. Tell the surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurses if you have allergies or have ever had a bad reaction to anesthesia.
When you are being discharged, ask your doctor about the treatment plan you are to follow at home.
An identification band will be placed on your wrist by the Patient Access Representative. Patients admitted through the Admitting Department have the following on their wristband: name, medical record number, date of birth, sex, name of physician, and admission number. Patients admitted through the Emergency Room have the following information on their wristband: name, medical record number, sex, name of physician, date of birth and religion.
Please verify that the information on the band is correct and do not remove it during your hospital stay as it is an important means of identification for all hospital personnel with whom you will come in contact. During your stay, staff may ask you to give them your name and date of birth – this is our way of making sure the medication or treatment to be provided is given to the correct patient.
We want to make your stay as comfortable as possible. You will be instructed on how to operate your bed and how to use the call button for assistance.
Keep a list of all the medicines you take. Tell your doctor and nurses about the medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and dietary supplements like vitamins and herbs. Tell them about any drug allergies you have.
Every effort has been made to make your hospital room safe and clean. However, because there are many sick people in the hospital who have germs that can cause additional illnesses, we would like your cooperation with the following:
- Wash your hands before and after going to the bathroom and especially before eating.
- Daily bathing is important. Please ask for assistance if needed.
If additional information is needed concerning your protection from infection, it will be provided by the hospital staff.
During your stay, medical equipment may be used as part of your treatment. For your safety, do not touch the control buttons or attempt to change the settings on the equipment. Immediately notify a nurse if the equipment alarm sounds; do not try to turn it off or silence the alarm yourself.
We need your cooperation to provide a safe environment. Occasionally, you will hear a loud siren ringing which, most likely, is an indication that a fire drill is in progress. Please do not be concerned. Fire drills are a major and necessary component of the hospital’s safety program. Patients and visitors are asked to remain in their rooms, unless instructed otherwise by our staff.
As a patient you can also participate in helping to keep the hospital safe by reporting to any member of our staff anything that might lead to a dangerous situation.
University Hospital is a smoke-free facility. This applies to all patients, physicians, visitors, and employees. Your cooperation is appreciated.
Control of any pain or physical discomfort you may experience is an essential part of the care you will receive at University Hospital. Patients of all ages are entitled to express their pain; have their pain thoroughly assessed; have their pain managed effectively; receive a prompt response to unrelieved pain; and be involved in all decisions about their pain management.
Your physician or nurse will ask you on a regular basis if you are experiencing pain and will ask you to describe the nature/severity of your pain by using a standard pain rating scale of 1 through 10. Do not hesitate to tell your physician or nurse about any pain you are experiencing, even if you have already received pain medication.
Massage therapy to relieve pain and stress is available. Ask your nurse for information about this service.
As a patient, you will need only a few personal items. These should be limited to a toothbrush and toothpaste, comb and brush, shaving kit, nightgown or pajamas, robe, and slippers. You are urged to leave your valuables and cash at home. If you wear eyeglasses, a hearing aid, and/or dentures, please try to keep them with you at all times, or in the bedside table. Ask your nurse for a denture cup to prevent the possibility of them being lost or discarded with the food tray or linen.
For your safety, personal electrical appliances, such as radios or hair dryers, should not be brought with you to the hospital.
Telephone and Television Services
University Hospital is happy to provide you with complimentary telephone and television services. Devices for the hearing-impaired are available upon request.
The Gift Shop is located off of the main lobby on C-level. Toiletries, magazines, cards, plants, candy and a variety of gift items are available. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Gift Shop is happy to make deliveries of gifts and other items directly to your loved one’s room! Please call the Gift Shop at (973) 622-2329 for this complimentary service.
The hospital has two ATM machines for your convenience. One is located outside the Gift Shop on C-level. The other machine is located in the cafeteria on B-level of the hospital.
The hospital free language interpreting services to our patients and their caregivers. Please let any member of our staff know if you require these services.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please make your needs known to any member of our staff. Let us know how best to communicate with you. Sign Language interpreting or other assistive devices are available to you at no cost.
Organ Donation Program
University Hospital supports the concept of voluntary donation of organ and tissue either by prior gift by an individual or by a subsequent gift by the family. By law, University Hospital must report all deaths to the New Jersey Organ & Tissue Sharing Network. The Sharing Network is a federally designated, non-profit agency whose sole purpose is to save lives through the recovery of donor organs and tissue for transplantation.
Patient and family members of a patient who meet criteria for organ donation shall be provided the option of donation in conformance with the law. Ask your nurse or call the Social Work Services Department at (973) 972-5842 if you are interested in learning more about organ donation and the Sharing Network.
Patient meals are prepared by our Food and Nutrition staff. All patients receive a nutritional screening and your nutritional care will be planned with you by a clinical staff member. Menu selections in both English and Spanish will be made available to you on a daily basis. Kosher and Halal meals are available upon request.
Meal service begins at the following hours:
Breakfast 7 a.m.
Lunch 11 a.m.
Dinner 4 p.m.
Meal delivery times vary depending on your location and if any tests have been ordered for you.
Gourmet meals are also available for a fee as a special gift to patients. For additional information regarding Gourmet Meals or Guest Trays, please call Food and Nutrition Services at (973) 972-6152 or (973) 972-4026.
Visitors to University Hospital are invited to use the Garden Cafe (Cafeteria) on the B-level of the hospital. The Cafe serves a variety of hot and cold foods daily, including weekends and holidays, from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Vending machines and access to microwaves are available in the B-level dining area at all times.
A Burger King franchise is located in the B-level dining area.
Hours of operation are:
Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday 7 a.m.. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Visitors are an important part of the recovery process for our patients and we encourage visits by friends and family whenever appropriate. However, the safety, comfort and care of our patients sometimes call for limitations on visiting hours and the number and ages of visitors. General information on visiting hours can be obtained at the Information Desk located in the Main Lobby, or by calling (973) 972-4040. The nurse manager of the unit should be consulted about special requests.
Visitor/patient parking is available in the 1,000 car parking garage across the courtyard from the hospital and through a valet parking service available at the main entrance of the hospital. The parking garage is open and attended 24 hours a day and the valet parking service operates from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is an hourly fee for both garage and valet parking.
Your medical care will be directed by your attending physician. If you do not have a private physician, one will be assigned to you.
Because University Hospital is a teaching hospital, most patients will also meet interns, residents and medical students. The house staff and students are important members of your healthcare team and are supervised by the attending physician who has the overall responsibility for your care.
The nursing staff is also part of your healthcare team. Registered nurses and nursing assistants provide many of the services and much of the care you will require during your stay.
Social Workers & Case Managers
There is a social worker assigned to each nursing unit, and they see patients upon request. They can help you, your family and the healthcare team make arrangements for special services after discharge. Social Workers work with our patients and families to make arrangements for transfer to other facilities such as nursing homes or rehab facilities.
If you are going home, your Case Manager will arrange for any equipment you may need and discuss with you options concerning home nursing care.
Your health care team will work closely with you and your family to help with any necessary arrangements needed to make the transition from hospital to home or to another setting more appropriate to your needs. Your physician will determine when it is appropriate for you to go home and will discuss it with you. As soon as you know your discharge date, please make all necessary arrangements to have someone pick you up at the hospital on the day of your discharge.
Other Members of Your Healthcare Team
During your hospitalization you will be visited by other hospital employees who participate in your care. These might include physician assistants, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, etc. All hospital employees wear identification badges with their picture, name and department. Do not hesitate to ask for identification.
Hospital volunteer chaplains of various denominations are available for patients and their families 24 hours a day upon request. You may call the Volunteer Department directly at (973) 972-4064 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or ask your nurse to arrange for a chaplain to visit you. Your nurse will make arrangements for you after normal hours. In addition, volunteer chaplains make daily visits to patient areas. The Volunteer Department is located in the hospital on C Level in room C-431.
The Chapel, which is located on the D level of the hospital, is open to patients and their families 24 hours a day. A schedule of religious services is posted outside of the chapel. For further information, please call (973) 972-4064.
Help us improve our services.
A few days after your discharge, you will receive a patient experience survey from us in the mail. Your candid thoughts on your experience at University Hospital are critical to our efforts to improve our services. We always strive to provide the best possible services to our patients and their families and visitors. Your comments are valuable information to us in our efforts to continuously improve our services. We sincerely appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.
Should you have any questions or concerns during your stay in the hospital, please contact the Patient Relations Department at (973) 972-6410. The Patient Relations Department is located in the hospital’s Main Lobby in suite C-242.
|Cafeteria Menu||(973) 972-4023|
|Emergency Room||(973) 972-5123|
|Food and Nutrition Services||(973) 972-4148|